While pursuing a family law claim in the court, it’s legally binding to provide full information regarding your finances. This is commonly known as the ‘Duty of Disclosure’ under Australian law and is legally mandatory for all parties involved in family law proceedings.
Full and Complete Disclosure: What Does It Mean?
According to the family law rules, 13.04, , parties involved in a family law case have a legal obligation to report certain financial information to the other side. This may include information regarding assets, earnings and financial resources as well as details about trusts or companies which may be relevant to your financial situation. It could also include information regarding a deceased estate that is under current probate.
The Duty of Disclosure commences immediately and is valid until the matter is finally resolved in the court. Family law rules stipulate that full disclosure extends to all financial documents including those that may not appear to be relevant to the case. Failing to disclose full and honest financial information can result in losses in terms of steep fines or punitive action. Duty of disclosure applies regardless of the asset pool in question. Even if the assets are modest, each party is obliged to follow the ground rules regarding disclosure of financial information.
At times, it can be challenging to understand the kind of financial information that you need to disclose. Having comprehensive documentation is a crucial tool for your lawyer to obtain the best outcome for your case. Details of full disclosure is also critical to understanding the position of the other party.
You can rely on Owen Hodge lawyers to fill out court forms and respond to requests for information from the other party. Providing us with honest, upfront financial information can help us assess the information and increase the likelihood of a favourable legal outcome.
What Documents Must be Disclosed as Per Family Law?
The following list of documents may be required for a full disclosure. Whether the case involves property or parental proceedings, these documents must be disclosed to the court as well as to the other party (and they are obliged to do the same with their documents as well).
- Payslips and tax returns (any document related to income and employment)
- Bank statements, mortgage or loan documents and credit card statements
- Business income (if applicable), profit and loss statements, lease and hire purchase agreements
- Insurance policies, pension statements, shares and debentures
- Other sources of income such as inheritances, lottery winnings or loss of income
As leading legal consultants, Owen Hodge lawyers appreciate that family law matters can be complicated and stressful to deal with. Longstanding animosity or poor relations with the other party can interfere with smooth, hassle-free court proceedings. Our trained lawyers will update you on the documentation required for full disclosure and we will review all the information that you provide.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you identify and prepare financial information for full disclosure.